10 Things That Require Zero Talent (but aren't easy)

I've seen this list a few times over the last month of so and it always makes me think.

Firstly, don't get me wrong, I'm comfortable with the list. The way talent is generally defined (which is really a description of someone's Sport Specific Physical Aptitude), the list makes sense. Specifically, the point is that there is no relationship between the aptitude to successfully perform the skills of a sport, and the attributes listed.

 I'd like to make another list of things that require little effort for some people:
  1. Being able to jump higher than your most of your peers
  2. Being able to run faster than most of your peers
  3. Being able to lift more than most of your peers
  4. Being able to perform complicated technical skills better than most of your peers
  5. Being able to physically exert yourself longer than most of your peers before fatiguing
  6. ok - I'm not going to do 10, I think you get the idea
So - now lets make a distinction between things that require 'talent' and things that are actually hard to do. Lets go back to the list at the top:
  • Being Coachable? This means that you are constantly open to criticism and change. No one likes that - its really confronting.
  • Doing extra work sounds easy. But at the end of a day when you have already trained for 4 hours plus spent 8 hours studying? That's not easy at all. Its arguably not even sensible.
  • Being passionate isn't hard. Unless you are asked to be passionate about something you aren't really passionate about. For example, be passionate about motor sport. Done? I suspect not. Does this mean you aren't good at driving? No, its not the same thing.
  • Effort? Putting in effort all the time is really hard! I recently asked a friend who manages a very successful company: "how many people in your company push themselves and each other to work at 100% of their capacity, the whole time they are at work?" His response: "I don't even do that myself."
So - does the list require talent? No - whatever talent is. But the implication is that everyone is equally capable of exhibiting these skills. They are not. In the same way that not everyone is capable of jumping really high.

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